Viacom Study: Multi-Screen Viewing Promotes Network Loyalty

According to a new study by Viacom, devices that enable consumers to watch television content on multiple screens is leading to increased network loyalty and an audience preference for live viewing. “Getting With the Program: TV’s Funnels, Paths and Hurdles” notes that 78 percent of viewers polled indicated they would not have become fans of some shows if they were not able to watch them on multiple screens. The study also found that multiplatform viewers are more committed to viewing shows live and watching multiple networks.

family-TVThe goal of the research was “to uncover the often complex paths audiences take to discovering and becoming fans of our content,” explained Colleen Fahey Rush, executive VP and chief research officer for Viacom Media Networks.

The study identifies a five-stage process for a viewer becoming a fan of a show, including: Discovery, Research, Selection, Fandom and Sharing. According to the study, TVs are the most commonly used device for discovery and fandom, while computers are the most commonly used for research.

Interestingly, the research also discovered that most new fans prefer marathon viewing to catch up with a series. “Among millennials, 83 percent enjoy marathon viewing, compared to 72 percent of genXers and 65 percent of digital natives (viewers age 13-17),” reports Broadcasting & Cable.

While an expanded range of new devices and content services can sometimes complicate the process, it also promotes more viewing. The article lists the following related findings:

  • GenXers show a heavy reliance on live TV with 45 percent only watching live TV and 80 percent watching live TV at any point in a given viewing path.
  • While millennials tend to stream more than genXers, they still rely on live TV with 33 percent only watching live TV and 66 percent watching live TV at any point in a given viewing path.
  • Digital natives rely on a mix of streaming and live TV, with 45 percent only watching live TV and 70 percent watching live TV at any point in a given viewing path.